Controversial documentary, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, adapted from Lawrence Wright's novel, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, has been ripped apart by the Church of Scientology—which includes one That 70's Show alumnus—even before its Sundance premiere. As a final takedown, the church has reached out to The Hollywood Reporter in response to its questions concerning documentary claims with a five page letter on why the doc is, basically, bullshit. The no holds barred letter, from church spokeswoman Karin Pouw, begins by ethering Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly:
Pouw says she can’t entertain THR’s questions about the “false allegations” made in the film, which she calls “propaganda.” These allegations include:
- Scientology founded Sea Org by Ron Hubbard (Scientology founder) as an IRS scapegoat when he was being investigated for tax evasion.
- In 1947, Hubbard sought out psychiatric help from the Veterans Administration (now the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) after his World War II service.
- The Church blackmailed John Travolta with private information to keep him from leaving the Church.
- The Church pays its members between $.06-$.40 an hour for labor services.
Pouw proceeds to ether more people in the letter by apparently revealing who director Alex Gibney’s sources, former Scientologists, really are. She says, “…I am going to take up the sources of these allegations so you understand their motivations to spread hatred, religious bigotry and lies. We are not trying to discredit these people. It is simply that Mr. Gibney is miscrediting them."
She refers to videos made about each member, with individual members being referred to as a “wife beater,” another a “violent psychopath,” and another a “soulless sellout.”
In the letter, Pouw also calls out Lawrence Wright saying, “[he] is obviously suffering from an acute case of jealousy of Mr. Hubbard, and thus has tried to slander him out of spite."
If you're interested in what the big deal is you can catch Going Clear on HBO March 29.